2013 marks another good performance for frozen food packaging in Europe, with volume sales set to rise by 2%. Uncertain economic conditions are enabling packaging in this category to perform better than in chilled foods or dried and canned/preserved alternatives, with consumer demand for good value being a strong driver behind this achievement.
Despite this overall positive picture, the industry faces several challenges in sustaining growth to 2017. Aside from low household penetration of freezers in Eastern Europe, brand owners operating in the frozen food category also need to address the need for greater product convenience on that side of the region, as well as consumer demand for more premium, healthier and more authentic products in the West. The packaging industry has the tools to work with in meeting most of these needs in the form of flexible packaging and folding cartons, along with steam-in-bag technology.
A positive yet challenging picture
Europe remains a major target region for both frozen food brand owners and packagers, accounting for a total 45% unit volume share of global frozen food packaging demand. With volume sales of 19.9 bn units, Western Europe is the leading region globally for frozen food packaging in 2013. The region’s volumes, however, have risen by a mere 240 million units on the previous year, whilst Eastern Europe’s 6.4 bn units equate to a larger increase of an additional 276 million units on 2012. Lower saturation levels and growing incomes...